The $15 French Red Our Wine Expert Is Buying at Costco All Winter Long

published Jan 18, 2022
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Credit: Trong Nguyen

Costco’s wine selection falls into two main categories: stuff from big, national brands and then lots from Costco’s own Kirkland Signature private-label brand. With the more well-known brands, sometimes the prices are amazing, and sometimes they’re good, but not knock-your-socks-off good. On the other side, I have found that the Kirkland-labeled bottles tend to be consistently excellent values, enough so that if I didn’t work at a wine store and get an employee discount, I’d probably keep a Costco membership just to stock up on wine for everyday drinking and parties (as things stand now, I just end up buying giant value packs of M&Ms and leggings I don’t really need).

Within the Kirkland Signature wines, the ones from Europe are especially good. I don’t know who is running the French and Italian wine program for Costco or what wineries they’re working with to create these private-label wines, but they deserve a raise. My latest find proves it!

Credit: Diane McMartin

I’ve loved the brand’s Cotes du Rhone ($6.99 for 750 milliliters) in the past, so this winter I decided to “splurge” on the $15 Kirkland Signature Gigondas. For anyone who doesn’t know, Gigondas is a specific village within the Cotes-du-Rhone region in southern France, so the quality standards are higher than they are for a wine just labeled Cotes-du-Rhone. This is generally how things work for European wine regions: The more specific and well-known the place is, the more stringent the quality standards are (the thinking being if you want to put this famous place on your wine label, you better do a good job and not bring down the reputation of the region for all the other winemakers).

Credit: Diane McMartin

A good-quality Gigondas is usually quite a bit more expensive than $15, so I was dubious at first, but I should have known Costco wouldn’t betray me. This wine has big notes of ripe, dark plum, ripe cherry, and roasted strawberry. The texture is luxurious and full-bodied, and while the tannins are there, they’re not overwhelming, so you could make like Olivia Pope and curl up with this all on its own. I think it would be better with something like braised short ribs or lamb, though. But, I’m open to suggestions. We’ve still got months (and bottles) to get through!

Find it in stores: Kirkland Signature Gigondas, $14.89 for 750 milliliters

Have you tried this red wine from Costco? Tell us about it in the comments!